Of all the artists I have come across in my life, Todd is undoubtedly the one that stands out. We both spent some years at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design back in the day, back at the start. The wonder and light in his eyes is unforgettable and he infuses his art with this internal glow.
I remember the energy in his first paintings and I have noticed that it continues miraculously to grow. Years ago I stood before his fire paintings and felt the embers and sparks as though I had stepped into a cool calm dark night where I was also simultaneously warmed to the core.
Paint, this powerful? YES.
What I love about the painting the artist has been doing recently is that he has the actual person, the subject right there involved as he outlines their shadow on to the canvas. These pieces are intimately smaller compared to some of his large scale works. This last year I too have been finding the greatest pleasure collaborating with people to create personal petite portraits. It's phenomenal to be part of art that is cherished before it is even halfway completed.
When I reflect on crossing paths with Todd, a subtly amazing individual, I consider the satisfaction of those years working in a studio with other artists. Paper taped to boards, canvases on easels, and the sound of the pencil scratching away or the paintbrush gently gliding. I traded that experience in for a graphic design office job which was equally satisfying for a time because it cleared art school debts while allowing me to remain creative. Still, from time to time I would glance over at what Todd was up to. He is the only one that makes me miss the warehouse studio and painting standing with long fat brushes, the immediate influence of the other, exchanged encouraging smiles. If I ever stop moving around long enough to set-up space, it is my hope he will be my mentor.
The life of Fine Artists and Graphic Artists can be solitary as they seem to only be engaged in the surface or screen before their face. However both can also be highly connecting and expand from the local community to include those around the other side of the world thanks to the internet. I have known each in isolation and each with loads of daily communication. It really all depends on the project at hand and what the artist chooses.
Todd Mrozinski took it a step further as an Artist-In-Residence at the Pfister, making his presence public and his painting for anyone strolling by to see in the happening. I encourage portrait lovers to take a look at the beautiful paintings that capture people completely without even imitating skin. I also encourage painting lovers, moon lovers, cloud lovers, landscape lovers, and everyone else to look in on what Todd is up to now and whatever he will be up to next. Thanks!